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Year View| Summary| Highlights| November 2002 (Month View)
01.11.2002 – Friday 1 November
- • Normal
- • Drove to Shan’s place. Scanned Dr Diqer’s letter. Helped Shan design webpage. Drove home.
- Other Information
- • It was another hot day, with much dust.
- • It is bed time.
- Action taken
- • Sleep.
02.11.2002 – Saturday 2 November – Fight Night
- • Mum and I drove into town, picking up Ricci from her place, and then onto the fight night. Cooktown Full Boar Muay Thai Kickboxing Club presents “The Awakening”, a Muay Thai and Kickboxing fight. Entry cost $25 for a ringside seat and $15 for general entry.
Sarah was on the gate. I took many photos, 413 to be precise, almost filling all my available memory space and running both batteries more or less flat.
The fights were a success for the local club, with all their competing fighters winning, bar one. I was surprised to find the violence level not as off-putting as I had thought it would be. At one stage, I was splattered with blood while ringside taking photos – which is fairly violent. One small child, who was sitting on a low wall, fell backwards hitting his head on an exposed drain. He was knocked unconscious and taken away by ambulance with a neck brace and immobilising stretcher on, but as far as I could see, everyone else seemed to enjoy the night. Mum and I did.
We drove down to the 24-hour servo to fuel up for the journey home, only to find it closed. It seems it’s no longer 24 hours. Fortunately, we had enough petrol for the journey home, but not enough to get into town again. We arrived home around 1:30 and I spent a further two hours online after that, making for a late night.
03.11.2002 – Sunday 3 November
- • I woke up a bit late and tired, and still unwashed from all the alcohol I’d had spilt on me last night. I had a quiet day not doing much, drove over to Shan’s in the evening and messed around, and then spent the evening on chat.
04.11.2002 – Monday 4 November
- • Shan dropped in on his way home from his final exam. He and Mandi drove over shortly after and picked me up, and we all went to town. I was hoping my PC parts might have been there, although I knew it was very unlikely. They weren’t, sadly. I did manage to buy a thick-shake though, which was very cold and filling. By the time I got home it was going on dusk, so I didn’t really achieve much today.
05.11.2002 – Tuesday 5 November
- • I had a bad day.
- • I drove over to Joneses in the evening and ignored my bad day, talking to them for a while.
06.11.2002 – Wednesday 6 November
- • Mum and I drove to town in the morning. I was hoping that my new PC parts may have arrived, but unfortunately, they hadn’t. Shan, Ella and I then drove to town again in the evening to pick up some stuff from the hardware for Craig. If I include the half milkshake of Sarah’s that I drank (along with half her potato wedges with sour cream, yum) then I had 2 and a half milk/thick shakes today. Just in case that wasn’t enough, Shan, Ella and I ate a packet of corn chips with spicy Mexican dip on the way home. To round it all off, I had spicy baked beans with sauce and much cheese on toast for dinner.
I also sent off Centrelink’s form asking whether I’d be studying again next year, and returned some overdue audiotapes to Brisbane School of Distance Education (BSDE).
07.11.2002 – Thursday 7 November – New computer
- • I was up early, and then went back to bed for a while. I phoned the post office some time after nine, and found that my PC parts had arrived, so Shan and I drove in to pick them up. On the way home we stopped in at Shan’s place and installed his new Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) drive, and his new 256 Megabyte (MB) Random Access Memory (RAM), which unfortunately wasn’t compatible with his Personal Computer (PC) so didn’t work. We then both came over here and put my new PC together, which took a while as it’s the first time I’ve ever done that, and I was being overly cautious. I drove Shan home just on dark, and then spent most of the night installing Windows XP and various other bits and pieces onto the new PC. Unfortunately it has some strange modem problem, which I really can’t fathom.
- • I went to bed in the wee hours of the morning.
08.11.2002 – Friday 8 November
- • Most of today was taken up with messing with my new PC and playing Unreal Tournament with Shan. I spent the morning configuring and fighting the new PC, with Shan coming over later and us both playing games until dark. I set up my old PC with my old monitor and networked the two, and had a good old two person Local Area Network (LAN) with Shan. After Shan went, I tried to fight my strange modem problem again, eventually giving up.
- • If I try to send a largish email (bigger than around 165K), it will send the first 165K (or thereabouts) of it, and then simply stop. Once it stops, everything else does too. The connection is then essentially dead. I started with my Maestro Woomera external modem in Windows XP. That didn’t work so I swapped to a Banksia Wave modem. That had the same problem, so I installed Windows 2000. That had the identical problem as Windows XP had. I then set up my old PC to use Internet Sharing running Windows 98. I still can’t send large mail, but at least the connection survives the attempt now. Not only does this problem occur in both Windows XP and 2000, and with two modems, but even through an internet gateway running Windows 98 on a separate machine without any of the same hardware. Just in case that’s not confusing enough, I had this problem once before with a different version of Outlook and an entirely different computer, running Windows 2000 and I installed Service Pack 2. Uninstalling the service pack fixed the problem. Reinstalling it caused the problem again.
It isn’t just Outlook; I couldn’t send mail even using web mail like yahoo.com and gmx.net. At times it got bad enough that I couldn’t even log into my web mail.
If anyone reads this and has any idea what could be wrong, or how to fix it, please let me know.
09.11.2002 – Saturday 9 November
- • In PC news, I installed Shan’s internal modem into my PC, which works fine. I got picked up from here by Jade, Shan and Ella on their way to the shop, and spent the afternoon at their place. Their Grandparents and an uncle and cousin came for a visit while I was there. Shan drove me back home in the evening, and we played Unreal Tournament for a while.
- • I ended staying up quite late on chat.
10.11.2002 – Sunday 10 November
- • I woke late and I didn’t do much today. Shan came over in the evening and we tried to play Unreal Tournament and Re-Volt. My new PC was unstable and crashed multiple times, until we gave up. After Shan went, I messed about with the PC, eventually working out the setting in the BIOS that was causing it to become unstable. Re-Volt now seems to run well, although Unreal Tournament will cause a BSOD as soon as I run it.
11.11.2002 – Monday 11 November – zzzzzzzzzzt
- • I can’t remember the morning...
- • By the evening I found myself at Joneses. I can’t remember why. Shan stayed the night over here, and we tried to play Re-Volt networked, but it wouldn’t, so we played Unreal Tournament instead. Until the power failed, tripping the Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (Core Balance) (ELCB). Not long after restarting the computers, it again failed, again tripping the Earth Leakage Circuit Breaker (Core Balance), which would tend to indicate surges. During the course of the night, the power failed several times, for not more than a few seconds each time, maybe five. Shan and I walked down to the Home Rule Bridge around 1 AM and sat talking for a while. We were startled by a bright light. I was watching the clouds and they lit up as though there were lightning behind the mountains, and Shan said he had been watching the ground, which he said was as bright as day. Then we heard a large and very loud “zzzzzzzzzzt”. It sounded exactly like an electrical noise, which is what Shan and I assumed. We walked back home but the power was on. We walked up and looked at the nearest transformers and powerlines, but they all seemed ok.
About a half hour after the large “zzzzzzzzzzt” some power crew drove past, in a hurry. We were impressed at their response time, as it is half an hour from Cooktown (travelling fast) and also after 1 AM.
We both went to bed, having decided that the light hadn’t been a UFO.
12.11.2002 – Tuesday 12 November
- • I woke up to find the mains power down around 30 volts on one phase. This wasn’t good for running my PC so I didn’t. Shan and I walked up to the nearest transformer and talked to the power people, who told us that all the lightning arrestors on all the transformers in the area had been blown and it appeared a high voltage line had fallen onto a lower voltage line, which is presumably what made the nice sparks.
My old PC was dead, so I phoned the power people and found out how to make a claim for damages.
Shan and I drove over to his place where I spent most of the day, coming back home in the evening. The power momentarily failed again during the late evening, being out for maybe three minutes, so I gave the power people a ring to let them know.
13.11.2002 – Wednesday 13 November
- • Nothing of interest to report.
14.11.2002 – Thursday 14 November – Sarah’s Graduation
- • The morning was uneventful. Dad, Mum and I drove to town around midday. Just as we pulled into town, while going around a corner, the car developed a nasty shudder. We couldn’t see anything wrong so we took it to the local garage. Apparently the steel belting inside the spare tyre (which we were using as we had a flat) had given away. We had to buy two new tyres, one to replace the wrecked spare, and one to replace the flat tyre – a nail having ruined it.
- • I took my old blown-up PC to the computer shop and left it there, then went and bought a thick-shake and went on the Internet at the library for an hour. I picked up my PC with its new power supply fitted in the evening, and shortly after went to Sarah’s graduation. I took some photos and then left when the meal started, as I wasn’t invited. I met Matthew driving along, and he gave me a lift down to the wharf where we bough some chips and potato scallops, and retired to his place to watch a movie. The graduates migrated to their party around 9:30 and Dad, Mum and I drove home.
15.11.2002 – Friday 15 November
- • The morning dawned clear and dusty, with not a drop of rain in sight. The sun beat down upon the dust; the dust mites ran and played. The trees shivered in their leaves, fearing the worst, as smoke curled lazily in the air from the myriads of fires still smouldering. Their leaves roll and curl, dropping to the ground as sorrowful as tears from a weeping Madonna, while the white cockatoos wheel and cry like crows coming in to feed from the still-living carcasses of drought-stricken trees, stripping them of their only hope – their blossoms.
As I walk outside the guardian cockatoo cries, and the whole flock lifts from the treetops and, with mocking cries, flies off into the brazen and unforgiving sky. A scrub-hen chases another scrub hen, while her mate looks on. They are fighting as they are drawn ever closer together into each other’s territory in their incessant and increasingly urgent search for enough food to fill their withering gullets.
A car drives by, billowing cloud upon cloud of thick dust onto the already choking trees by the roadside, and then filters its way through and into the yard, settling densely on everything. A dog barks in the distance, and another answers it.
I sneeze, as I walk inside and look around for breakfast.
The road, freshly graded and shaped, is a river of dust. Every car that drives by sends waves of it swelling outwards and downwind, suffocating everything and inflaming my nose. A lonesome sprinkler fights forlornly with the dust, an uneven and unfair battle it is doomed to lose. The very land itself prays for rain, its thirst calling out to the hard sky above. The sky answers with a baking heat, sucking what little moisture is left out of the trees, which one by one are withering up and dying. Trees which are forty years old are giving up. The drought has hit hard, it is frightening to think that this is normally one of the wettest places in Australia. Silas tells me that it looks like storming in Brisbane, as he discusses his exams, his stress levels and his inability to cope – meanwhile attempting to study. This reminds me that I need to phone the Bell View and make reservations, just in case they’re full – tourists can be fickle and hard to predict. Shan rides over on his motorbike, red from the sun and in a cloud of orange dust, mingled with blue smoke from his bike. The sun’s beating heat has abated some as the day draws to a close, but the parched dryness and the dust are ever-present and pitiless.
The forecast says it will rain tomorrow.
16.11.2002 – Saturday 16 November
- • Rain, it didn’t. Sun, shine it did. Day was uneventful. Shan, visit in the evening he did. Sleep I had some of, in the evening. To bed I went, at 4 AM.
17.11.2002 – Sunday 17 November
- • I recall not what I did in the morning, nor do I recall what I did in the morning.
- • I drove over to Joneses in the evening, and arranged to be picked up from here tomorrow morning and transported, whole and intact, to Cairns to sit my exam.
18.11.2002 – Monday 18 November – STAT Test in Cairns
- • Jade came and picked me up just before 5 AM. We drove directly to Cairns, a four hour drive. I drove down the range, Jade driving the rest of the way. We checked into the Bell View, and then Jade went and sat her exam. I caught a bus up to my bank branch, and applied for a credit card, then caught a bus back and went to sleep until 3 PM, at which time Jade arrived back and we did a few things that she needed to do, then she drove me out to James Cook University (JCU) to sit my Special Tertiary Admission Test (STAT) Test. There were quite a few people sitting it, I estimate around sixty. They had a few rooms, divided alphabetically by surname of participants. The test is two hours long, and seventy multiple choice questions. I managed to complete all that I knew how to do in just over an hour, and then spent the rest of the time wondering what the ones I didn’t know how to answer were supposed to be. As far as tests go, this was a good one in that I wasn’t overly stressed or worried, although I really have no idea at what sort of result I will achieve.
Jade picked me up after and we went and watched “Blurred: A comedy that follows a group of teenagers who are among the 70,000 who head for the Gold Coast each year for surf, sun and sex during “Schoolies Week”” at Cairns Central Cinemas, after which we both went to bed.
19.11.2002 – Tuesday 19 November – Cairns and shopping
- • I woke around 8:30. Jade and I drove around doing the shopping she had to do, and a small amount I needed to do. I finally bought a new computer mouse, a “Microsoft Optical Mouse Blue”, what an incredibly innovative name. It rained on and off, and rained some on the drive home. We left Cairns in the afternoon arriving back here just on dusk. I met Erica on her way up for two weeks holiday, with Brady and Nigel. It is raining here, not heavily, but solidly, at the moment. I am tired from the drive, and going to bed.
20.11.2002 – Wednesday 20 November
- • Nothing of any interest was done by me on this fine and dandy day.
21.11.2002 – Thursday 21 November
- • Today was town day, so Mum and I drove into town in the morning. We met Sarah just arriving at the Rossville hall where she is working. I checked my mail, and took the insurance claim forms regarding my PC to the computer shop, where I also went on the Internet for an hour. I then made my way up to the supermarket where I purchased a thick-shake from the Mad Cow, after drinking of which I felt quite sick. I bought a punnet of salad from the supermarket for lunch and ate that washed down with apple juice as we drove home. By the time we got home (just after lunch time) I was very sleepy.
22.11.2002 – Friday 22 November
- • I think the short walk in the evening, during which I bought a packet of Pringles and a small block of Cadbury Snack chocolate and sat down at the creek eating my Pringles, was about the only thing of any interest whatsoever that I did today.
23.11.2002 – Saturday 23 November
- • I went down to the markets in the morning, which were much the same as last markets and the markets before that... I bought a biscuit, an icy cup, and a raffle ticket, and then walked home. Jade and Shan dropped in on their way to the shop in the evening, and gave me a lift out to Home Rule where I stayed until dark, when they gave me a lift home again.
24.11.2002 – Sunday 24 November
- • I had a quiet day, driving out to Home Rule to see Shan in the evening.
25.11.2002 – Monday 25 November
- • I had a doctor’s appointment at 10 AM, and Mum had to give Jean Haak a lift to town at the same time, so we all drove to town. She has had some type of stroke, which is apparently a form of epilepsy, and isn’t to drive for a few months. She works at the local Art Gallery until 4 PM on Monday’s, so I had a lot of time to spend in town. I went an got my mail – a letter from Centrelink saying my payment has been cancelled due to myself not meeting the age requirements... Then I went and saw the doctor, who filled out the appropriate travel forms which I then took up to the hospital and lodged, as per decorum. I am now officially permitted to fly to Cairns for my doctor’s appointment there.
- • I spent some of the evening at the library attempting to use their pathetic Internet connection. Not only does it disconnect at random, requiring one of the librarians to input the password, but it only works on their server – their network is useless.
- • This is a good example of the librarians’ skill levels regarding computers:
To connect to the internet, they open Internet Explorer, which attempts to dial a connection. If, however, the default Internet Explorer home page happens to be cached – (it appears to be set to cache per session) which isn’t all that unusual, then it doesn’t attempt to dial a connection and they mutter to themselves about how terrible computers are, and insist that the only way to fix this problem is to reboot, login as Administrator, “re-enable” the network (I shudder to think what that means) and then logout, log back in as a public user, and try again.
It’s appalling to watch.
Needless to say, it failed again, and as I pay per half hour to use it, I went and got my customary milkshake and punnet of salad, ate that, went for a walk down to the wharf, bought two potato scallops, ate them, and drove home.
- • And thus ended yet another day in the life of our hero.
26.11.2002 – Tuesday 26 November
- • Hot.
Hot winds drying the earth again.
Hot dust rising.
Hot on the telephone, on hold for hours.
Hot under the collar.
27.11.2002 – Wednesday 27 November
- • Woke up.
It got hot.
Had a snooze.
Phoned Centrelink and worked out what was going on.
- • Shan came up and lost the dipstick from his motorbike on the way, which allowed oil to escape, so we got another dipstick from an old pump and some oil and fixed it. Shan then rode home.
28.11.2002 – Thursday 28 November – I fly to Cairns
- • Some time after getting up at some ungodly hour, getting ready, and then driving to town at 6:30 AM, I actually woke up. The plane left on time around eight, arriving in Cairns roughly 45 minutes later. I checked in to the Bell View, stowed my bag, found an Internet Café at which I spent some time, and then headed up to the hospital for my X-Ray. After a short wait I had my X-Rays and walked back to the Bell View. Having no shopping to do and not much else either, I walked to Cairns Central to see what movies were showing. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was about to start, so I watched that. It is even worse than it sounds, just possibly viewable for young children, although definitely third-rate. Lunch followed – a very nice falafel roll, with extremely hot chilli sauce and hummus.
Having gotten into movie-watching mode, I then watched Changing Lanes. While not the best movie, anything seemed good after Harry Potter, and this actually had a semblance of plot.
Two movies are never enough, of course, so I finished off by walking up to Cairns City Cinemas and watching “Y Tu Mama Tambien”. It is filmed in Mexico, in Spanish, and is subtitled. This gave me a mild shock, as I wasn’t aware it was to be a subtitled movie. There’s something about subtitles, they change the atmosphere, sometimes actually helping to draw one into the movie, making one rely more on visual cues, and thus seeing much more than one might otherwise. I’d recommend it (but only to mature audiences, it contains nudity, sex, and at least one kiss). All this movie-going took me up to 11:30, so I wandered back to the Bell View, which is only a ten minute walk from the theatre, showered and went to sleep.
29.11.2002 – Friday 29 November – Our hero sees the doctor in Cairns
- • I was awoken at 7 AM (although I was actually already awake) by my wake-up call. I made my way leisurely hospital-wise, via an Internet Café. I found the right clinic, sat for a while, and saw Dr Singh. He said “Get Lost, and don’t let me see you here again”. Or words to that effect. There’s every chance that my lung may collapse again, or that my other lung may also have faulty tissue in it, but I am now officially declared better. I can do anything I want, except for deep sea diving.
To celebrate the news, I went to the movies. At Cairns Central I saw “CrackerJack”, then walked to Cairns City Cinemas and saw “The Banger Sisters”, both quite meaningless and somewhat disappointing, although I enjoyed them both. A special mention must go to “CrackerJack” for managing to make one of the most boring plots known interesting enough to watch, and it was ok too.
After having spent ages watching movies, I felt I needed a rest, so I spent some time on the Internet and then hailed a cab out to General Aviation, where I sat waiting for the plane to leave. The flight home was much the same as always, although for some reason we flew lower and further inland than normal, and it was slightly bumpy, all of which made the ride a little more enjoyable and interesting.
Mum picked me up from that airport, and we drove home.
30.11.2002 – Saturday 30 November
- • It was hot. Very hot. Humidity slowly soared, while the heat also rose. Today is, without doubt, the hottest day this summer. As evening came, so did the clouds, rolling in thick and dark from the ocean. Just before dark, the lightning began out West. Just after dark, the rain arrived. It stormed. Lightning crashed above. The power surged on and off. I unplugged the PC, although I forgot the phone line, and went to bed. It was still hot, but I eventually dozed off, enjoying the refreshing smell of the lightning and the rain, and the sound of rain and wind in the canopy, and falling onto the roof. The sounds of nature, flexing her muscles, a pure, unaltered and somehow peaceful and tranquil sound, yet tinged with fearful power.